In a rare and unprecedented move, Pak Rim-su, chief delegate of the North Korean military mission to the inter-Korean truce village of Panmunjom, conveyed a message by phone to General James Thurman, the commander of the U.S. Forces Korea, of dire consequences if the United States troops went ahead with the scheduled military exercises with South Korean troops. It came amid the rising tensions between the United States and North Korea after the latter conducted third nuclear test recently, violating United Nations resolutions and sanctions imposed on nuclear tests.
A cold war has been going on between the United States and North Korea for the last some years. The North leadership feels that the US has been working against interests of the country, while the US and its allies believe that North is fast turning into a growing threat for peace, security and stability of the region because the Korea leadership is hell bent on going ahead with its nuclear program despite worldwide condemnations and sanctions imposed by the United Nations. It should be noted here that following the recent nuclear test, the international community condemned the move by North and called for a serious, punitive action against the country. After the nuclear test, the Korean leadership said that the step was aimed to force the US to the negotiating table.
The US-South Korean Combined Forces Command is planning to hold an annual computer-based war drill, Key Resolve, from March 11 to 25. The war exercise is all set to involve 10,000 South Korean and 3,500 US troops. The command also plans to hold another military exercise that will be much bigger and graver than the Key Resolve, as it will involve about 200,000 South Korean troops and 10,000 US forces. The exercise is expected to get start on March 1 and likely to continue for two months. The North Korean leadership feels that the US-South Korea joint military exercises are a threat to the security and stability of the country. The North military command also takes the joint military drills as a symbol of aggression against the country.
It is good to see that the Obama administration is exercising enough restraint against North Korea despite latter’s threats and aggression against the United States. In fact, the Obama administration wants to resolve North Korea’s controversial nuclear program through dialogue and negotiations. The US and its allies have been striving hard for the last couple of years to coax North Korean leadership that it should halt uranium enrichment and roll back its nuclear program in the best interest of the country and the whole region. But, on the other hand, it appears that the North Korean leadership wants to provoke the US and South Korean leaderships.